Monday, 22 September 2014

Why don’t people buy instead of renting in Aylesbury?

Quite often, when discussing the rental market, we talk about property and seem to forget the other party in the equation, the tenant. Without tenants, there is no demand for the rental property. The profile of the Aylesbury tenant has changed and continues to change. Although this is in part due to the credit crunch, job mobility and the raising of deposits, an increased number of people in their twenties are choosing to rent rather than buy and have done so, even when they were in a position to buy a property.
Since the credit crunch, rents have been good value for money for most tenants outside London. Few rents (outside London) have kept pace with inflation as they tend to track wage inflation. In 2008, the average wage according to Office of National Statistics in Aylesbury was £32,160. Latest figures for Aylesbury in 2014 show average salaries in the town have risen to £36,374, an increase of 13.1%. I was reading some research from the Bank of England which suggests with regards to inflation, goods and services that cost £100 in 2008 would cost £119 in 2014, making inflation 19% over those seven years.
Aylesbury tenants are paying less than both wage and goods inflation. Aylesbury rents are in fact still around 5.3% above the level being achieved in 2008 but the tenants are being paid 13.1% more. That is why we have seen a greater demand for Aylesbury rental properties with more and more people becoming tenants. So renting has since the credit crunch, on average, delivered good value for money for tenants and hence the healthy demand and lack of void periods for most property.
Overall, considering the recent rises in property prices over the last 12 months, we are still 1.53 % above the 2007 boom prices in Aylesbury. With reasonable rents, many would-be first time buyers in Aylesbury have been wise to remain in the private rental sector. Rents tend to move in line with wages as opposed to inflation and if something goes wrong with the property, inevitably landlords pick up the bill, so tenants aren’t hit with awful expenditure surprises as a normal homeowner would be. In addition, renting offers better mobility both from a location perspective, but also from a trading up or down perspective in terms of rent commitment which, in this tough job market, could be considered a wise move.
From the landlords point of view, the consequence of this steady/solid market throughout the Aylesbury area, with good tenant demand, decent long term capital growth (as mentioned in last week's article) and average yields between 4 and 6%, with home owners it used to be buy, sell, buy, sell as one rose up the property ladder.. Now it’s buy, hold, buy, hold.
If you would like to discuss my thoughts on the rental markets in Aylesbury, feel free to pop into our offices on Temple Street, or email me on


In my previous Blog posting, I was discussing the difference between apartments and semi-detached houses in the Fairford Leys development on the South Western edge of Aylesbury. I talked about the effect that the lack of two bedroom houses coming on to the market was driving up the demand for apartments in the same area. Due to a lack of supply of two bedroom houses coming on to the market for sale, they have experienced some excessive short term price gains and landlords are considering buying apartments in Fairford Leys as an alternative investment. The question I set at the time was “What does this news have on rental returns?”

When a property increases in value over time, it is known as 'capital growth'. Capital growth, also known as capital appreciation, has been strong in recent times in Aylesbury, but the value of property does go up as well as down, and of course the local conditions surrounding your property have a big effect. Rental income is what the tenant pays you - hopefully this will grow over time too. If you divide the annual rent into the value (or purchase price) of the property, this is your yield, or annual return.

Looking at the capital growth of a property needs to be both a short and long-term decision, in my previous article, I discussed the short term gains however, looking back to 2002 the average two bedroom house in Fairford Leys has risen by 57.3% compared to the apartments that have only risen by 18.5% considering that inflation has been 41.9% over the same time frame, obviously twi bedroom houses have beaten the cost of living whilst the apartments have come nowhere near that figure. So in real terms they have dropped in value.

However, we also need to consider the annual yield. The average yield for a two bedroom apartment in Fairford Leys is presently 5.88% whilst for a two bedroom house it is 4.92%, making the apartment have a 19.5% proportionally higher yield.

One final consideration is that with apartments there are additional costs for ground rent, buildings insurance and the cleaning and maintenance of communal areas. This does reduce the yield, however, it does remove certain obligations and responsibilities away from the landlord, something that some landlords prefer.

It really comes down to what you really want from your property investment. Investing in property is a balance between capital growth and yield and each landlord sits differently on that see-saw. There are plenty of other areas in Aylesbury which also need serious consideration and therefore whether you are one of our own existing landlords , or a landlord with any other letting agent in Aylesbury please, feel free to pick up the phone and have a chat about what’s happening in the property market today.